my Marche

Poliarte: witnesses of the future

Art and CultureRecommended

Ours is a manufacturing region and manufacturing is the mother of Beauty. Giordano Pierlorenzi, Scientific Director of Poliarte, is convinced of this. The academy has 52 years of history and has graduated more than 5.000 students with 50 partner companies involved in creative projects every year. The sectors in which the students try their hand are Fashion, Graphic and web, Product, Interior Design, Cinema and New Media, Set & Location Design.


“When I started – says Pierlorenzi – Poliarte was just an idea, a professional course in the CRIPA (Regional Professional Consortium for Artisan Education which becomes a Research and Innovation Center for the Art Professions, started on the initiative of Confartigianato with funding from the Chamber of trade and the Marche Region. Then we founded it as an art school in 1972 until it became a renowned and reference Academy. Consider that we have collaborations with 20 Italian and foreign universities and research centres. In some sectors we are a important reference for ergonomics (since 1984 or environmental health and safety for users. The exceptional experience of the institute, its growth and evolution, was formally recognized with the authorization in 2016, by the Ministry of universities and research, to offer degree courses”.

The secret to the success of all these years?

“The structure was designed to be excellent and respond to the needs of the economic fabric and the needs of operators. The experimental design centre, as it was called until 2016, has invested in modelling, photography, silk-screen printing and tailoring laboratories and offers courses in graphic, fashion, industrial design and photography, adopting a very innovative training model for those years inspired by Bauhaus. And then the human factor: teachers, then as now, are the best professionals."

Then there are the great collaborations of great designers and artists and companies:

“I say we're lucky to live in a region with smart entrepreneurs, at least the ones I've worked with. They were great representatives and strong testimonials of our academy among companies and the economy. An important step forward was in 1981 when Adolfo Guzzini became the President of the Scientific Committee and then Sandro Feliziani, entrepreneur of Nuova Simonelli and Vittorio Livi of FIAM. In that period we involved many companies and promoted important conferences. With Vittorio Merloni we organized the national congress in Ancona in 1984 entitled "business ergonomics design" in which numerous Italian teachers and personalities participated. A historic date. And what has made the history of this academy is the mass of projects developed with companies. Thousands of products contain a concept and a realization born within the walls of the academy".

Yours was the beauty revolution, but was or is Marche ready?

“No, the Marche, a region in the plural, made up of many excellences, is not used to looking up. Generally, people from the Marche region have low self-esteem. And we have practiced a discipline like economics that can elevate us all both individually and as a region. We helped to think about beauty, about a functional design that can distinguish products made in Marche and made in Italy in the world. In short, a work that can enhance the regional cultural identity. I think this is an important result of what has been done over many years of work."

He also made an analysis of the history of the Marche in his books:

“The Marche region is naturally self-sufficient. The region, its few resources, its history are testimony to this. But in the cities there were artisans' workshops and in these laboratories the elements were worked: wood, leather, iron and also plexiglas and ceramics. Here minds and hands have created for centuries. And they have forged something much more important than products, the profile of the designer. We come from this. Now we must have awareness and self-esteem to look at the challenges of the future with serenity and determination, also at an international level".

After all, Director, you come from psychology and perhaps you are the right key to elevating the student:

“I follow Geopsychology. Within this concept I put all the knowledge and experience that derive from the valorization of the territory. Certain operations did not arise by chance. At the Palazzo Ducale in Pesaro we participated in an exhibition on Gavina's poor design. A design that elevates the elements that would not have the dignity of excellence according to the common way of thinking and which instead can be part of a whole of beauty and uniqueness".

“However, I must make a confession: I graduated in Literature, Philosophy and Psychology and worked as a voluntary assistant at the University of Macerata and I have always disliked psychology. Then I started studying design especially from American schools of thought. So I developed a different perspective, ergonomic design, and today I am happy that all this work has been transformed into this beautiful academy. When they say that dreams can come true."

You brought great designers and received great awards.

'Poliarte has an important series of awards such as the 1995 Compasso d'Oro and the Tubism Prize in Paris and many others. We brought all the greatest designers to the Marche region, starting with Bruno Munari, Gillo Dorfles and many others. Constant work over time has allowed us to become unique, with a great reputation."

Pierlorenzi, Poliarte was a small Ferrari, a school also serving the economy with many successful entrepreneurs competing to collaborate: why didn't it agree to "sell" the school to an economic group?

“The management group has thought about it many times, but despite having important collaborations on industrial and designer projects with companies, we have always wanted to maintain our independence. This was certainly also a limit, but it also allowed us to move into fields where the economic driving force was not there."

But now Poliarte has been sold to Iginio Straffi, President of the Rainbow Group, in 2022:

“And I'm happy about it. The Rainbow Group, which I knew with Don Lamberto Pigini, is one of the major independent producers in the European audiovisual system and a protagonist of the entire supply chain - from production, distribution, artistic management. The film production company Colorado Film and Rainbow Academy, a school in the Computer Animation sector, are also part of the group. From this year we have two new  degree courses: Cinema and New Media and Set & Location Design. We are on the right path to grow further in new disciplines that are at the center of the evolution of the media sector."

However, the academy has solid foundations:

“In fact, 95% of our students find work after completing their studies within six months. This is a great achievement. We need to continue our studies and research, keeping open channels of relationship with the large centers and universities, starting from the Polytechnic of the Marche. We have acquired a role and we must continue to maintain it with conferences and symposia".

Is this positive for the future?

“No, because I see a great homologation underway. We must be unique or at least try and I believe in Iginio Straffi to make it happen."



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